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First POST: Realizations

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, February 6 2014


  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is building a data-driven targeting effort for the 2014 mid-term elections, relying in part on Civis Analytics, the number-crunching firm launched by Obama 2012 chief analytics officer Dan Wagner. Their efforts, reports Ashley Parker in the New York Times, will focus on mobilizing base voters, not swing independents. Sasha Issenberg, the author of The Victory Lab, told her, “Campaigns are realizing that the smartest way to win the next vote is by mobilizing a nonvoter than by trying to win over a voter.”

  • Ro Khanna, the upstart candidate backed by many tech industry moguls who is challenging incumbent Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) for his congressional seat, is profiled in the Times today. You can read our Sarah Lai Stirland's in-depth coverage of that race here.

  • Sean Parker, one of Khanna's supporters, says, “I think we’re starting to come into a realization of our own power and of our own capability, not just as innovators and technology pioneers, but also in a political sense.” (Thanks to the SF Chronicle's Carla Marinucci for that video).

  • Some Democratic web managers noticed that the new GOP tech lab hadn't registered, and the result, our Miranda Neubauer reports, is pretty funny.

  • The Government Accountability Project has drafted a privacy statement that it is encouraging all email users to put in their signature line. It reads:

    "This communication may be unlawfully collected and stored by the National Security Agency (NSA) in secret. The parties to this email do not consent to the retrieving or storing of this communication and any related metadata, as well as printing, copying, re-transmitting, disseminating, or otherwise using it. If you believe you have received this communication in error, please delete it immediately."

  • The Washington Post's David Ignatius reports from Munich on how Edward Snowden's revelations of NSA over-surveillance are continuing to roil Europe and ponders whether this marks the end of the open Internet.

  • Visitors to the Sochi Olympics will likely have their laptops and cellphones hacked within minutes of using them, NBC News's Richard Engel reports, drawing on his own personal experience upon arriving there.

  • Turkey's Parliament has approved legislation that will allow its state telecommunications authority to block websites without prior court approval, Jacob Resnick reports for USA Today. It will also require Internet service providers to maintain two years of every user's online history.

  • Secretary of State John Kerry is back on Twitter, and the New York Times is ON IT.

  • Twitter is making "data grants" of access for researchers to its public and historical data.

  • Is Verizon already taking advantage of last month's defeat for net neutrality to start throttling some web providers, particularly Netflix? That's the question posed by David Raphael on his blog.

  • You can test whether your own Internet service is being throttled here.

  • This Vermont man attended the Educause annual conference in New Orleans without leaving his home, sending a telepresence robot instead. (h/t Chronicle of Higher Education)

  • Kansas teenager uses a 3-D printer at his local public library to make a prosthetic hand for a 9-year-old boy.